Rio Mavuba

Rio Antonio Zoba Mavuba (born 8 March 1984) is a French footballer who plays for Football Club des Écureuils de Mérignac-Arlac as a midfielder.

Rio Mavuba
Mavuba Lille Liverpool.JPG
Mavuba playing for Lille in 2010
Personal information
Full name Rio Antonio Zoba Mavuba[1]
Date of birth (1984-03-08) 8 March 1984 (age 36)
Place of birth Born at sea
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Youth career
2002–2003 Bordeaux
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2007 Bordeaux 127 (1)
2007–2008 Villarreal 5 (0)
2008Lille (loan) 17 (1)
2008–2017 Lille 282 (4)
2017–2018 Sparta Prague 11 (0)
2018– Mérignac-Arlac 5 (0)
National team
2004–2006 France U21 20 (1)
2004–2014 France 13 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 December 2018

He spent most of his professional career with Bordeaux and Lille, winning the 2011 national championship with the latter.

A France international since 2004, Mavuba represented the country at the 2014 World Cup.

Early yearsEdit

Mavuba's father was Mafuila Mavuba, a footballer who appeared at the 1974 FIFA World Cup with Zaire, while his mother was an Angolan national. He was born on board a boat in international waters during the period of the Angolan Civil War, and later stated that his birth certificate did not have a nationality on it, reading only "born at sea";[2] he received French nationality in September 2004.

Mavuba's mother died when he was two, and his father 12 years later. He launched himself into football to help deal with his grief.[2]

Club careerEdit


Mavuba played youth football with FC Girondins de Bordeaux. He made his Ligue 1 debut on 10 January in a 2–1 away win against Montpellier HSC and, under recently appointed manager Michel Pavon, became an immediate first-choice.

From the 2004–05 season until the end of his spell, Mavuba never appeared in less than 32 league matches.

Villarreal / LilleEdit

Mavuba with Lille in 2014

On 3 July 2007, Mavuba signed a five-year deal with Villarreal CF worth 7 million, as the Spanish side had lost Alessio Tacchinardi who returned to Juventus F.C. following a loan.[3][4] He found it hard to break into the first team,[5] only totalling 219 minutes in La Liga, and in late January 2008 joined Lille OSC on loan until the end of the campaign.[6]

The transfer was made subsequently permanent in summer 2008, with the player penning a four-year contract for a reported fee of €7 million. He appeared in 46 matches between the league and the Coupe de France in his third year, helping Les Dogues win both competitions, the former after a 57-year wait.

Mavuba suffered a knee injury midway through the 2012–13 season, being sidelined for more than three months.[7] On 22 December 2013, the team captain scored his first goal of the new campaign, helping to a 2–2 draw at Paris Saint Germain F.C. and being involved in a scuffle with Zlatan Ibrahimović, with both players being booked late into the first half.[8][9]

On 26 May 2015, Mavuba signed a new four-year deal with Lille.[10]

Later careerEdit

On 21 July 2017, 33-year-old Mavuba agreed to a three-year contract with Czech club AC Sparta Prague.[11] He returned to his adopted homeland on 14 September 2018, signing with Championnat National 3 amateurs Football Club des Écureuils de Mérignac-Arlac.[12][13]

International careerEdit

In 2004, Mavuba was asked to play for the DR Congo national team, but he turned it down.[2] From the 2004 Toulon Tournament to the 2006 UEFA European Championship, he acted as captain to the French under-21s.[14]

Mavuba won his first cap for the senior side on 18 August 2004, in a 1–1 friendly draw with Bosnia and Herzegovina in Rennes.[15] From 2008 to 2011, he did make one single appearance.[16]

Mavuba was selected by coach Didier Deschamps for his 2014 FIFA World Cup squad.[17] He made his debut in the competition on 15 June, coming on as a second-half substitute for Yohan Cabaye in a 3–0 group stage win against Honduras.[18]





  1. ^ "Rio Mavuba". L'Équipe (in French). Paris. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Copnall, James (14 October 2004). "Mavuba: born without a nation". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
  3. ^ "El Villarreal ficha a Rio Mavuba por siete millones de euros" [Villarreal sign Rio Mavuba for seven million euros]. 20 minutos (in Spanish). 3 July 2007. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  4. ^ "Mavuba, al Villarreal" [Mavuba, to Villarreal] (in Spanish). UEFA. 4 July 2007. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Mavuba tampoco juega en la UEFA" [Mavuba also does not play in UEFA]. Marca (in Spanish). 26 October 2007. Archived from the original on 29 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  6. ^ Cerbelle, Nicolas (21 January 2008). "Mavuba rebondit à Lille" [Mavuba rebounds to Lille]. Le Figaro (in French). Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  7. ^ Gazeau, Florent (3 May 2013). "Mavuba, et maintenant?" [Mavuba, and now?]. Le Figaro (in French). Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Lille hold PSG". ESPN FC. 22 December 2013. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  9. ^ Dorso, Damien (22 December 2013). "PSG-LOSC (2–2): Mavuba sur Ibrahimovic: "Il fait 2 mètres, on lui touche la tête et il tombe..."" [PSG-LOSC (2–2): Mavuba on Ibrahimovic: "He's 2 metres tall, you touch him on the head and he falls..."] (in French). Eurosport. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Rio Mavuba signs Lille contract extension". Get French Football News. 26 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Rio Mavuba signs". Sparta Prague. 21 July 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Nationale 3: Rio Mavuba, ancien joueur des Girondins de Bordeaux, signe à Mérignac-Arlac" [Nationale 3: Rio Mavuba, former player of Girondins de Bordeaux, signs at Mérignac-Arlac] (in French). Actu. 15 September 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Vidéo. Football: Rio Mavuba décisif lors de la victoire de Mérignac-Arlac" [Video. Football: Rio Mavuba decisive in Mérignac-Arlac win]. Sud Ouest (in French). 22 October 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  14. ^ "France flurry flattens Germany". UEFA. 25 May 2006. Archived from the original on 5 January 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  15. ^ "La reconstruction est entamée" [Rebuilding on its way]. La Dépêche du Midi (in French). 19 August 2004. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  16. ^ Dupré, Rémi (7 November 2013). "Equipe de France: Mavuba, le retour" [France national team: Mavuba, the return]. Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  17. ^ "World Cup 2014: Stephane Ruffier confirmed in France squad". BBC Sport. 3 June 2014. Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  18. ^ "Benzema bags brace as Bleus beat Honduras". FIFA. 15 June 2014. Archived from the original on 11 July 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  19. ^ Hémard, Adrien; Souhard, Alexis (5 October 2018). "Rio Mavuba: « Être entraîneur, c'est vraiment un objectif »" [Rio Mavuba: « To be a coach, it's really a goal »] (in French). Sofoot. Retrieved 30 January 2019.

External linksEdit